The Dabbler (AKA Hendrik Steyn) was born in Vereeniging in South Africa in 1984. The second child of two excellent parents, he grew up somewhat differently than other children. This was because his parents soon realised that he has an eye condition known as FEVR.
His parents took this blow and raised Hendrik like they wood any other child. He was left to learn to explore on his own, play outside, get dirty and ask for things. The only difference between him and other young children of his age was the fact that he could not see.
He went to school at the then Pioneer school for the blind where he learnt to love technology and languages.
After Matriculating, Hendrik studied at the North-West University where he obtained a honors degree in (of all things) languages and language practice.
Hendrik Lectured for five years and in this time he realized that technology can be used to make a real-world difference in the lives of those with disabilities. He got a transfer to the Disability Rights Unit of the Vaal Triangle campus of the North-west University where he is now an accessibility technologist.
Hendrik decided not to persue an academic career, because life is too short to know too much about one topic. Look at this way: A person with a PHD knows a lot of one topic. They prefer not to dabble. Hendrik dabbles in lots of different things at the same time. “I’ll rather die knowing a bit about a lot than knowing much of only a few things.”
To build this site, Hendrik uses a screen reader. This site aims to be different from the other thousands of sites written for the blind and about the blind. This site will focus on all the people: Those with vision lost and those without it. In the US and UK and other developed countries, people start to take note of those with disabilities. This situation is slowly becoming better in South Africa, but there are still lots that can be done. See this site as The Dabbler’s two cents worth on the subject.
Here are two things Hendrik (AKA The Dabbler) would like you to think about:
- What is the difference between ‘normal’ and disabled?
- If you always felt pitty for a disabled person, why do you think they need your pitty? What makes you better than them?